The ‘Sussex Declaration’ of Independence held at West Sussex Record Office

Many of our followers will recall the news last year of the ‘Sussex Declaration’, an early copy of the US Declaration of Independence, and the only other ceremonial copy of the Declaration known to exist besides the signed 1776 copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Although the manuscript has been catalogued and stored here at West Sussex Record…

The US Declaration of Independence and West Sussex Record Office

Many of you may have read about the ‘Sussex Declaration’ in the past few months. You may have heard about the record on the radio, you may have even seen it broadcast to millions on morning television! The story behind how this parchment copy of the US Declaration of Independence ended up in Chichester is…

Transatlantic Ties: American History in West Sussex

By Jo McConville, Transatlantic Ties Project Archivist The much feted Sussex Declaration (see an earlier blog post for more information) represents a remarkable connection between West Sussex and the United States. It may be the most famous, but it’s certainly not the only one. Some of the people and places in the county with significant…
Drawing of the Thakeham Blue Idol Meeting House

William Penn in West Sussex

By Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian William Penn is best known as the founder of Pennsylvania, among the most successful of all American colonies, and as a leader of the fledgling Society of Friends, better known as Quakers. He was the only man in the 17th century to achieve as much in ‘Olde England’…

Sussex and the US: Closer than you think

In the final instalment of our American-themed blogs to celebrate Independence Day, we are looking at the many and varied connections between famous faces in America’s history and the county of Sussex. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, thirteen British colonies on the east coast of North America declared independence in 1776 and formed the United States of…

A celebratory end to the Transatlantic Ties project!

After almost three years, our Transatlantic Ties project came to a joyful conclusion on Saturday 11th June with a symposium at the University of Chichester. With all the challenges of the last few years, we were delighted to be able to hold the event as originally intended, and the appearance of our often elusive British…

Transatlantic Ties: An Introduction

By Jo McConville, Heritage Project Manager: Transatlantic Ties Followers of this blog and WSRO news will almost certainly be familiar with the story of the Sussex Declaration (if not, click this link to see our previous blog posts on this great record), the rare contemporary copy of the American Declaration of Independence housed at the…

The Pie Powder Court of Chichester: Dusty feet and quick justice

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist Happy Pi Day! As always with these sorts of events, I was looking for something innocuous to post for this fun little hashtag holiday, and ended up tumbling down the rabbit hole of something only marginally related to what I set out to do. Instead of a photo or two…